Doing something completely different… yet again
I am always pushing myself to try something new. I’m not sure if I can say that I really enjoy it, but I keep doing it so that must mean something. When I find myself stagnant or still for too long, I get restless and unhappy. I never saw myself as a 9 to 5 person. For instance, I agreed to train for a charity boxing event last summer because it’s something I never thought I would do. I wouldn’t say I really loved getting punched in the face and gut, but I loved being there and seeing how I got better.
This time, I’m going to live in a small town in Bolivia and teach drama in a school there. You might ask, are you a Spanish speaker? No. Are you a teacher? No. Have you ever traveled alone? No. And so it goes, putting myself in terrifying positions – putting myself back at square one. But, I think that’s what I like about it.
The culture in Tupiza is rich and traditional, and yet it is dying. What I know of it is very little at this point, but I hope to learn about the Chichas culture and help the natives there preserve their traditions. I’m certain I will be learning more than I will be teaching.
My background is in theatre. I spent most of my early twenties rolling around on the floor wearing all black and making strange and guttural noises. So, to answer your question: Yes, the stereotypes are fairly accurate when it comes to theatre school.
I always found myself loving and hating it. It was freeing and creative, but I also found it hard to take it too seriously. Acting itself was never enough for me. Directing was more fulfilling because I was creating an entire piece, but more so I think I liked being a supporter and leader. This, too, was not enough for me, and that’s when I finally went traveling.
Until now, all of these things have been compartmentalized. The opportunity came up for me to travel to Bolivia, as they were looking for someone to start a drama program in a school there. It was as though all the light bulbs suddenly got switched on. It was the perfect combination of everything I wanted to do, so I got on board.
The reality now, is that I have no idea what it’s going to be like, how I will fit in or if I can even do the job I’m meant to do. I immediately felt the pressure to know everything. I needed to learn Spanish, I needed to create a lesson plan and I needed to do it now.
As the time of my departure rapidly approaches, I have to remind myself that I am a supporter and a leader, but I am also a beginner. I will constantly need to remind myself of this over the next few months. What’s important to me is that I am always learning. At least when I’m terrified, I’m not bored.